well hi there

I think that is my longest blogging siesta ever. And, boy is it hard to get back on that horse with hundreds of epic photos and even more stories. So, I’ll just start and stumble around between my garden, Portland and Point Reyes.

So, I managed to toss my arugula and lettuce seeds in a bed before leaving on our adventures. I had to do it on the sly, while Andy was in the basement or shower, because if he saw me digging in the dirt when I was supposed to be cleaning the chicken coop or packing for bug and me or calling to stop the diaper service or other boring stuff, then he would have said babe, come on. So, like a good wife, I frantically dug weeds, tilled soil, added compost and sprinkled seeds all without him knowing and then stayed up too late doing my chores.

And then we landed in the car for a very long car ride through a blizzard to Portland.

Eventually we arrived in sunny, buzzing-with-life San Francisco on April Fools Day. Really, I am not joking. And, on that day, I had my first blind blog date. Finny (scroll down on her blog to see a picture of us all happy together and her story is hilarious, as always) and I had fun over afternoon cocktails and gardening and running gab. It was normal and she isn’t scary. It was a relief that she wasn’t actually a nutty serial killer representing herself online as a cute knitter, runner, gardener, dog-lover.

Then, Lindsay’s car was towed and things like that are way way more expensive in California (a parking ticket in Missoula is $2), drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to San Rafael, gabbed and stared at each other, ate, drank cold beer and swooned over bug.

Then we drove up the whole reason we were there: the wedding of our best friends. The pulsing green of Petaluma. Holy shit. All the food freshly plucked or killed like eight feet from the table. We hiked in the hills through thick trees, grooved to the groom’s music, hung an art show, strung lights in a hay barn, arranged flowers (plucked eight feet away), danced (bug got a blister from tearing it up on that floor), gabbed and stared at each other, ate, drank cold beer and swooned over bug.

The trip was entirely too short and I miss my girls.

photo by Paige Green

But wait! Then we went back to Portland. Oh, that city tugs at my heart. A big ole Missoula is what it feels like to me. Portland rivaled Petaluma for green. We even caught some sunshine on our first day although I actually love the gray of Portland. It is crisp and clean and with all that fluorescent green everywhere…the palette was edible. We did eat a lot there too.

And took it easy with bug’s aunt and uncle over neighborhood strolls and thick coffee in the days and guitar strums and martinis in the evenings. The city parks blow my mind. We saw some great art. We found an easter egg hunt. Lots of laughter, talking about our cute dogs and, of course, swooning over bug.

And then the drive back was really long with many stops.

But we returned to tiny arugulas and lettuces and tall, skinny garlics!

And, today, the chickens discovered new green under old leaves and I sowed peas. It’s good to be home.

19 Responses to well hi there

  1. jen says:

    ah … now i completely understand the electric green. you were in petaluma! my best friend lived in petaluma (after moving there just before 9th grade) … i’ve spent many a summer there. and always swore that i would move there in a heartbeat …
    and little lettuce sprouts. swooning over those too.

  2. joan says:

    Thanks Nici that was really fun. More more, XOXO J

  3. Jean says:

    Another great post. Hey, you handful of seeds looks just like an arugula leaf!

    Gosh, I, too, love Portland and would move there in minute if I didn’t love Twosome and Montana more.

  4. Kelle says:

    oh, those trees. we don’t have trees like that down here. not that i don’t love my palms, but seriously. i miss that lush/dark/full woodsy thing. makes for great pictures. glad you are home. and expecting lots of great cooking/gardening/homemadey stuff posts from you now that spring is on the brink. your trip looks divine. road trips rock. xoxo

  5. April says:

    Looks like a great trip!! Love the lights in the barn.
    After living in Missoula for 5 years and Portland for almost 2 years, I have to say that it is like a bigger Missoula. But WAY more noisy. Enjoy the quiet MT life. And visit Portland often.

  6. TRB Holt says:

    Great to be able to see what is happening again! As always love the photos and I too love swooning over bug!

    xo, Mom

  7. Malissa says:

    Nice to see you back blogging. Great pics of your Bug at Sauvie Island. I used to live in St John’s and Sauvie was right out my back door. I would go there in the summer and pick huge bouquets of flowers and saturate my whole house with them. The gardener in me misses Portland! Did you see Clancy? If so, is her belly so cute?!! I see you planted some arugula. I need to get going. I have the tiller rented for this weekend and then away I go. How does arugula do in Missoula? It does great here in Idaho; I had a huge crop of it last summer. Take care! Happy Gardening and Happy Spring!

  8. Elisabeth says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Erin says:

    Welcome back! Your posts have been sorely missed, but you certainly deserve the time off. Glad it was fabulous and most importantly, filled with good beer.

  10. Heidi says:

    welcome back. happy that garlic is growing too! your trip looked like so much fun!

    girl pic…i just love it! are those friendship necklaces? i hope they are bc i think those kinds of things are really cool!!

  11. Colin says:

    well hello there

  12. Summer says:

    You’re amazing Nicole Rae and Margot is gorgeous.

  13. Lisa says:

    For the record, I am from the Bay Area and I now live in the Portland Area and that green you saw in Petaluma – very temporary. It is incredible when it is like that, though, isn’t it? Most of the time my beloved Bay Area and Wine Country is a flowing, golden brown… and this year there has been a serious lack of rain… you came during the only wet time so far… so your timing couldn’t have been better. I, myself, was in the Bay for Easter and now I’m back at home near Portland, so we were like ships passing in the night! Anyway… the electric green of the Willamette Valley (Portland included) is pretty much permanent, so I’ve discovered. It’s pretty amazing to me. We’ve been here less than a year so far and the grass and trees have been green 100% of the time. Amazing to me.

    And, yes, Portland is a kindred spirit with Missoula, and both seem like the younger children of Berkeley, CA to me… so it all feels like home. All wonderful places. Thanks for sharing the great pics and fun times. I am still very much enjoying your blog :) For the record, we share many, many things in common – except the running thing. Running is like torture to me! I could hike all day long, but throw a job in there and I am miserable… so I marvel at your running love and ability from afar :)

  14. Lisa says:

    yikes! Typo! I meant “jog,” not “job!”

  15. Patia says:

    Ah, sounds like you had a lovely trip. Thank you for sharing. I am enjoying your garden, too. Inspires me to get out there and maybe plant something in my whiskey barrels.

  16. paige says:

    the necklaces are from http://etsy.com: check out sushipot… I bought them for all our most favorite people at our wedding.

    and it was a wonderful adventure indeed. I miss you already. xo :p